Daylilies forum: Daylily growth question...

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Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
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riverman123
Jun 5, 2015 2:45 PM CST
me and my girl absolutely love lilies and daylilies! the actual growing of them I would assume is quite similar, correct? that said, is it also safe to assume the growth pattern of the two is the same, or at least pretty close? as in, the shoots coming up is first on the list, foliage then develops, flowers at some point, once flowers are done then the process of making and storage of energy begins through photosynthesis, thereby growing the bulb/tubers/roots for a larger, more abundant display next year? correct? im asking because our daylilies flower great. but the plants themselves seem to be small, in my opinion. very few fans and not as many flowers as I would think there should be. im curious if the same treatment and fertilization regimen used for lily bulbs can be used for daylilies as well?
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jun 6, 2015 6:50 AM CST
I don't grow many lilies but I do grow a lot of daylilies and I use a slow release fertilizer like Osmocote but a less expensive version. Scotts has a vegetable and flower slow release that I get at Lowes for a reasonable price. Usually I use a formula as close to 10-10-10 as possible. Daylilies also like minimum of 1" of water weekly and should be planted in full sun. Keep in mind though that there are some cultivars that will always have smaller fans than others. A lot of spider/ufo types are like that and its just in their genetics.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jun 6, 2015 1:14 PM CST
I know little about specialist growing of lilies (I assume you mean "true lilies", Lilium). The few bulbs I have were planted in the garden in sunny spots with no special treatment and come up and flower every year. I do the same with daylilies. However, for optimum performance daylilies are said to benefit from higher nitrogen than one might think. The only study I found on a quick look for Lilium was that their nitrogen requirements are "moderate".

Lilium are in the plant family Liliaceae. Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are in the plant family Hemerocallidaceae (or alternatively in the family Xanthorrhoeaceae depending on the authority one goes with - I prefer the former because I don't have to look it up each time I want to spell it correctly Hilarious! ). So they are not closely related although until a few decades ago daylilies were lumped in with the Liliaceae until it was discovered that was inappropriate).

Their growth habit is also different, I wouldn't quite characterize it as shoots coming up first and then foliage developing. The foliage is the first thing to emerge. Leaves do develop along the stem as it grows in lily but not in daylily. They would be photosynthesizing from the time the leaves are sufficiently emerged, they would not be waiting until flowering is finished. They might direct the "food" made by photosynthesis to different places/activities before and after flowering though.

As Cindy said, the size of a daylily plant depends on the cultivar. They range from very small, short plants with small flowers to tall plants with larger flowers. Are you saying that for any given cultivar the plants are smaller and sparser flowering than they should be? Are they in full sun?

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